A Brief History of the Hawaiian Plate Lunch One of the 50th state's most beloved food traditions.
The raw Hawaiian fish dish poke is spreading to the mainland like wild fire these days, but the Aloha State's most famous native dish is arguably the Hawaiian plate lunch. If you’re not familiar with this specialty of the 50th state, you should be. If nothing else, consider it a patriotic duty: President Barack Obama was born in Honolulu and is an avowed fan of the plate lunch. (As for why it’s never showed up at White House dinners, blame healthy-eating devotee Michelle for that one.) Here now, everything you need to know about the Hawaiian plate lunch: What is a Hawaiian plate lunch? A go-to meal for Hawaiians that’s both cheap and filling, it’s served at roadside stands, drive-ins, and hole-in-the-wall restaurants all over the state; think of it like a multicultural, island-influenced version of traditional Southern meat-and-three plates. It can include many different types of proteins but they are always flanked by mayonnaise-based macaroni salad and two scoops of white rice, making the Hawaiian plate lunch a serious carb-loading event.